Fundraiser Held As Community Mourns McAlester Taxi Driver Shot, Killed On New Year’s Day

Sunday, January 5th 2020, 1:05 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

Many people throughout Pittsburg County are still mourning the loss of Rover Taxi driver Dustin Parker, who was murdered New Year's Day.

In the wake of this tragedy, people as well as businesses, like this Dominoes, stepped up to help by creating the "Dustin Special," which $5 of all specials ordered will go towards Parker's family.

For Parker's cousin Kim Blasengame, she said it’s a labor of love in a time of tragedy for their family.

"This community the town of McAlester has blown our minds, this is beyond anything we could ever imagine, everyone has stepped up," Blasengame told News On 6.

Investigators said Dustin was shot and killed early New Year’s Day while he was in a Rover taxi. They have yet to find a suspect. Blasengame said she was at Domino's to pick up pizza for Parker's son, who turned 7 years old today. She said the family is still in shock.

"The one thing that has been going through my mind that has just been playing over and over is 'why?' -- why would anyone want to do this?" she said.

Dominos employees say the wait got over two hours long at one point in the day. The lobby of the store was packed with people ordering and waiting for orders.

Beth Runwon was one of the customers who said she knew Dustin personally and wanted to help in any way she could.

"His smile could light up a room," Runwon said. "In the end it shows the love and that when something tragic happens, everyone does come together, and we are a family." 

Blasingame hopes that as the community continues to support Dustin and her family - the people of McAlester also support equality - which she says is what Dustin stood for.

"We want awareness for LGBT, transgender, we want more people to be aware of what's going on," said Blasengame.

The family said a silent auction will be held later this month. For more information about the silent auction, click here.

Parker's funeral is set for 10 a.m. Monday January 6 at the Expo Center.